Game Guides

Rainbow Six Siege Vulkan – How to Enable

Better performance with a simple adjustment.

by Brandon Adams


Ubisoft has recently added the Vulkan API to their brutal team-shooter Rainbow Six Siege, though in an experimental capacity. That said, quite a few people are noticing a substantial boost to performance with this update, so it behooves you to activate it. Thing is, it isn’t in-game.

Using the launcher you purchased Siege from, manually launch the game from your library to enable the Vulkan client.

This goes for both Uplay and Steam versions of the game: you need to go to your library and select Play. Assuming you are using the correct launcher (it will be the one your Rainbow Six Siege license was purchased through), an option should appear asking you to choose which version of Siege you wish to launch. The first option is the good ole’ fashioned DirectX 11 Siege, and Vulkan is what it says on the tin.

If you use your desktop icon to launch the game you will need to pin a new one for the Vulkan client. Currently there isn’t a way to change APIs within Rainbow Six Siege, so if you click the icon and get straight into the game chances are you are running the DX11 client. If you are not sure there is an easy way to check: pop into the graphics settings and see if Adaptive Render Scaling is an option. If so then congrats: you are in the Vulkan client.

This option alone makes it easier for players to reach their desired framerate, considering it allows the game to downscale the internal render resolution to maintain the framerate you set it at. That’s not all – thanks to better memory management and other under-the-hood adjustments Vulkan brings to the game most players will see a general boost to performance, especially those with aging CPUs.

Personally, I went from a somewhat rocky 122 frames-per-second at 1440p with my 1080 ti and 8700K to a solid average of 155. Sure, it’s not my monitor’s refresh rate of 165, but setting my cap to 144 has led to buttery smooth high-refresh rate gaming. I imagine those with less powerful rigs will see a more substantial performance boost, so if you haven’t tried the new Vulkan client out yet, I recommend you give it a spin.

- This article was updated on:February 4th, 2020

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